tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 18, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
mr. cohen -- mr. cullencaller: , i understand your xeng but a lot of us have fallen through the cracks. and we want a job where we can maybe e our families, maybe take one vacation per year. and we cannot do that in america. we have to have two incomes just to survive. guest: i hear what you are saying and it poses a terrible burden on tho who have lost their jobs or who may lose their jobs. that is why there is a thing called the trade adjustment assistance, wage insurance to protect people like yourself who are put up without a solid income that you and your family
can count on. there are things that government has to do. i know there is a very anti- governmententiment out there, but i believehe government has a very positive role to play, and that is, for people like yourself and others that have been hurt in this economy. we need to help peopl like you to survive and provide for your family. that is where the government does have a responsibilit host: and there was a piece in the "new york post" yesterday is looking at karzai, the leader of afghanistan. what did you think about the u.s. relationship with hamid karzai? do we need to keep him close? and how effective can this be? guest: he is the elected leader,
although, there is very much a question of how the election to place. it does call into question what the measure of success is. we do not talk as much about winning anymore. the measure for success, is it to be more stable country? frankly, i have real questions about its counterinsurgency strategy, which is what we have, unless it is very long term. we have a hybrid now. we have a "counterinsurgency strategy," which iseally, at winning hearts and minds. but winning over people not by bullets, but by helping them build hospitals and community centers and things that will help them improve their lives. but you have a successful counterinsurgency strategy requires a very long term
commitment. i do not think the american people are going to support that. i do not think we will be real to carry it out. host: what should we do? guest: we may find ourselves back into a more counter to our strategy recommended by vice- president biden, with a low for print. but in the meantime, this is what is going on -- with a low footprint. but in the meantime, this is what is going on. the taliban who are willing to give up their arms and join in government and such, i am skeptical that can take place, but i wildefer for theoment, at least, to general patraeus. i believe he will make the correct assessment on the ground and he will tell us next july whether this has a chance of succeeding. and if it does not, then president obama has a different decision to make at that time. host: kansas, republican caller,
welcome. caller: good morning. i was fortunate enough to work for a company that was on the leading edge of the new economic order. i worked for fedex and it's fundamentally changed the way logistics' was handled. one of the things i saw as i traveled internationally is that the world is much more willing to compete that i think a lot of americans are. and there are a couple of problems i would like you to talk about, at least as i see them. one is, i live in a small town in kansas, and one thing i hear over and over again is that we need more of low-wage manufacturing jobs, which is the opposite of what we really need. and the politicians play to that very skillfully. i do not know how we get beyond that. i think we are behind the curve and we need to catch up.
the other thing is, my wife and i host international students and one of the things i see in them is that willingness to compete and to succeed that i do not see enough in american students. it brings a couple of questions to mind. one, if i believe we are behind the curve, how far behind and how long will it ta us to catch up? and what things can we do so that we can succeed in this environment that i think we should be thrivingn? guest: that is a great series of questions. number one, we tend to pound artest said -- we tend to be pounding are just and saying, -- our chests and saying, we are number one. we are no. 11. in fact, we continue to slide in terms of our competitiveness. we continue to -- our wages, in
particular the low-wage thing you talked about, it is not going to happen. as you pointed out, other countries are much more eager to compete and enter the global marketplace. the issue has always been for anyone to be successful, you have to produce a better product at a better price. if you cannot do that, you are going to lose. we have to educate ourselves about the realities, not to continue to engage in the things that once were true. my home state of maine was a textile state, a hsu stake. those jobs are gone, but now they have jobs -- a shoe state. those jobs are gone, but they have new jobs in technology. we need to upgrade our skills to make us competitive so that we can compete against those countries that have been a poor who are now getting richer and
we have to be able to compete against them. host: former defee secretary would -- william cohen joining us. according to an unnamed official by cnn, nobody is living underground in a cave. what can be done about osama bin laden? guest: frankly, i think we have made too much of bin laden. and whether we find him or not is not going to alter what is taking place. we have seen terrorismpread not only from afghanistan, but into pakistan and to the sudan and other countries. we're going to have to live with radical extremists for much of
this century until such times as other countries are also joining in really, eradicating them. you talked about this morning bob roberts' book, "obama's wars." one of the things the republican party is really objecting to is the saying that afghanistan is really a obama's war. it is not a obama's war, but america's war. and i would say, it is not america's war. is the world war. we all have a stake in this. -- it is the world's war. we all have a stake in this. you cannot be on the savoy in london or a train in -- on the subway in london or a train in madrid or in new york without worrying about this.
we have to make sure that it does not become americanized. buttu often, i think, we allow others to say this is -- too often, i think, we allow others to say this is america's war. we carry the bulk of the responsibility to carry out this campai against those who would threaten us. host: saudi intelligence officials have informed france that al qaeda may be planning an attack in europe, the french interior minister said sunday. let's go to our next call, shane in houston joins us on the independent line. caller: good morning and thanks for c-span. i'm a first-time caller an i've watched c-span for years. many times i've wanted to call in and i cannot think of a better time than today the judges want to make some reflection may be about what i
would consider to be -- i just want to make some reflection may abo what i would consider to be the poo how can i as a free man ever begin to compete with people were making 40 cents or 50 cents per hour. we know now that china has the second-largest number of billionaires. isn't anyone in our political system going to stand up and demand some global minimum wages? these people suffer eugenics. guest: china does have a very low wage base, but interestingly enough, the wage base is starting to creep up because they are becoming richer. as a result, the workers are demanding more in the way of compensation, more in the way of environmental protection in the places where they are forced to work. china itself is finding that it has to even outsource some of
its projects to vietnam, which may have even lower standards. what we are trying to do is insist upon an upgrade of those standards to be sure that we can level the playing field as best as possible. but what china can do with low wages -- the u.s.'s edge has always been that we can do the same with technology and we keep ahead of the kerf by having people that are skilled in these types of products that will sell in the global marketplace. yes, china has a lower wage base, but it is coming up and it will make it a bigger challenge for them to compete in the marketplace against other countries who also want to compete. if you take a country that is in desperate poverty and you say it before you can enter the marketplace you must pay at least $7 per hour, that is not
going to be realistic. there will always be some differentiation in the marketplace. host: selma in kalamazoo, mich., welcome. caller: hi, thank you guys. i love c-span. i'm so happy we are talking about this subject today because i thought about this for a lg time. i do remember -- i'm 57, so when they start talking about this outsourcing and i did not really know what it was, i remember that they said -- well, i heard somebody say that they knew were going to send jobs that you could teach a monkey to do to these countries that have very cheap labor, but that our people in america were going to be taught these high-tech jobs. i guess at the time i thought that was a good idea, but now i see that we got left behind, our
kids got left behind. now the jobs are going overseas that are low-tech, or just manual jobs. our part of being taught high- tech things did not happen. host:ducative the next generation of americans on how to get a good job. guest: it requires a good ucation. we're starting to fall off on science, engineering, technology and out. those are the sciences we have to focus on and to insist that our children coming up and become more capable and efficient in. otherwise, we will see a loss in that high in capability and we as a result will be in the back of -- backwash of economic history. this is serious. that is why the obama administration has put an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math because we're starting to fail in isikoff area.
host: you ran for senate in the 1990's and failed and did not run for reelection. that this time you said it was too much attention and -- at that time you said it was too much attention and a lack of productivity. -- too much tension and lack of productivity. guest: after 24 years on capitol hill at the time i felt that my time was not being well used. to many time outs, too much talk benefaction. there were serious problems, as there are now, that were not being addressed. our deficit, we are passing on to our children, grandchildren. i thought maybe it w time to bring in new blood and new ideas that could move the country forward. i think it has gotten worse since that time. looking at the election coming up, all the projections of our
that the republicans will take the house. they may even take the senate. what does that mean? that means these next two yrs will be a challenge to president obama and we are likely to see very little movement on any of the major issues. we have to look at tax policy. we have to look at trade policy, climate change, immigration. all of these issues are likely to be on the table in the next two years to be addressed in my time in which we will have stagnation. we have talked about china. china is a continent -- , in this country. -- is a communist country. what they do is have a very few people that have a vision and then can execute the vision because they do not have to deal with the vibrant and discordant voices that democracy has. they can move much faster than we can. we believe that ours is a far
better society where people are free and can be creative and make the best use of their talents, but china is moving very dramatically. we have got to be able to compete. one way to compete is for us to come to a consensus about what the top things are that we have to address. a and we have to reform our tax code. but we have to make it far more simple for the average person. we tax corporations at twice the rate that most other countries do. we have the second highest tax in the world. there are things that can be done to make us much more competitive and efficient, but unless we reach a consensus, we will continue to debate, to delay, to obfuscate, to try to exploit public sentiment without really doin the >> this week -- microsoft's
daniel reed on the future of human interaction with computers and his company's role with technology and software. that's tonight on c-span2. >> some campaign news -- after refusing to shake his opponent's hand in a debate yesterday, republican senate nominee rand paul said he may skip the next debate. he said he would make a decision soon about whether he will go forward with the debate currently scheduled for one week from today. the candidates are competing for the u.s. senate seat vacated by retiring republican senator jim benning. elections are just about two weeks away and each night on c- span, we are showing debates from key races around the country. here's the lineup for tonight at 8:00, it is the west virginia senate debate.
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documentary program is open but for middle and high school students. >> c-span -- bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning, it is washington journal, connecting with journalists, elected officials and policy makers. watching live coverage of the house of representatives and congressional hearings and policy forms. every weekend, look for our signature interview programs, the communicators, newsmakers and q&a and the popular "prime minister's questions. the political parties will battle for control of congress and our programming is available at any time online at c-span.org and searchable at a video library. created by cable, provided as a public service. >> indiana governor, mitch
daniels, received the hudson institute's herman kahn award. the president and ceo of the hudson institute and served as budget director under george w. bush. this is a little more than half an hour. ñvt=yñk#ó7w?uoñóçcásos?yoñ >> he remembered herman kahn, something us -- something of fiat icon in japan. bring a copy of the book with you. come and see us. when i walked into his chambers, he looked at me up and down and said you must eat more. [laughter] based on the sumptuous meal this evening, i'm trying. i have the distinct pleasure of
introducing a friend this evening. let me be very precise. [applause] back in the early '70s, i met a remarkable man named jim quayle, dance father. over coffee, we discussed his sons and his son's ambitions. although obviously proud of dan quayle, neither of us realize the heights to which his son would rise. in 1976, he was elected to congress and in 1980, he rode the wave of pro-reagan sediments in to the senate. in his eighth senate years, he displayed a keen understanding of armed services manners and was recognized as a keen analyst on defense-related issues. in 1988, when he was 41 years
old, he was tapped by president george herbert walker bush to run as a vice-presidential candidate. it was a controversial but wise decision. since he served as president and the country as these superb 44 vice-president of the united states. [applause] 5+o?/ñ7 he is a business plan that serves as chairman of cerberus investments. most noteworthy is his association with the hudson institute. it was dan who assisted with our relocation to indianapolis at a critical juncture in our history. should hastily at he served on our board of trustees for several years. i have the pleasure of spending
time with him over the years and can attest to the fact that he was truly an imminent public servant and is in my judgment a man for all seasons. in command of the central issues of our times. it is a unique pleasure to introduce the former vice- president, former member of the to call a friend, and the truly great american, dan quayle. [applause] >> thank you very much for the introduction. thank you for a longtime friendship we have had. with thet to be back hudson institute. i have some many fond memories of the service and association
i've had with friends here. thank you, mr. prime minister for coming. a great prime minister and longtime friend. i have been traveling to japan since 1977. i worked with his father when he is the foreign affairs minister and worked with him in the public arena and the private arena. herman kahn was a person that discovered that japan was going to be an economic superpower. your presence here tonight is very much appreciated by all of us. thank you for making the effort. [applause] >> its great deal back in d.c.. [laughter] i love this place. [laughter] showt in '93 and just to you how times have actually changed a little bit, i walked
into the front desk, escorted by a friend and this guy had a trainee badge on and he says may i help you. i said i would like to check in. and he says what's the last name. i said quayle -- and he says is that with a k. and i said, you have to be kidding me. they're going to get in on the spelling stuff right away. [laughter] [applause] but i just love this place. the history -- it's so great to be back in d.c.. herbert was talking about my father my political career -- many of you may know that my son is now running for congress. [applause]
he got through a rugged 10 person primary and right after the primary, he has a laudable name recognition now, so i call the local restaurant and i called and said i'm dan quayle, i would like to make a reservation. i know it's late, but i frequent this place and i know the owner. he'll give me my corner table. dan quayle? are you related to bill quayle. i said yes, he is my son. and she said is he coming with you tonight. i said he's not. and she said garner. i said and i have my reservation and she finally gave me the reservation. so now i'm using my son to get a reservation at a restaurant which i used to be taking him to
frequently. being back in this city, we've got the midterm elections, but they conversation, presidential politics -- where not talking about that tonight. i can tell you how not to get elected president. get elected to the house, get elected to the senate, served four years of a great president and then run against his son for president. that's the way not to do it. then you can be a volunteer force son's campaign for congress. tonight is a special opportunity for me to introduce to you the recipient of the 2010 herman kahn award, mitch daniels. i think i have known him over 30 years. i've watched him with the senator lugar and went back to indiana, eli lilly and work in
the reagan administration. mitch is an innovator. he thinks outside the box. you don't see that too often today in politics. you have the conventional campaigns, all of the consultants, things you can and cannot do. but he's always been a person that would think outside the box. that is why he has been tremendously successful in the state of indiana and has notoriety in japan, because of what he has done with the toll road and lower taxes. in having been president and ceo of hudson in the past, i cannot think of a greater honor read than the governor of the state of indiana, the hon. mitch daniels. [applause]
>> mark twain said the perfect audience was informed, intelligent, an acquisitive, and drunk. [laughter] it's been a long evening and i'm thinking we're near perfect here which would come in handy. thank you million. this has been like a college reunion. there are folks here have long to see for a long time and for that alone i am incredibly grateful. it's an intimidating audience.
even as the man said, jefferson dining alone would have a hard time exceeding candlepower assembled in this room. it is intimidating. i've learned in this job, the first and only elected office ever sought or held, you get a lot of awards and recognition that you don't really deserve. is the second night in a row that has happened. last night it had to do with education, something i aspire to achieve to, but we are work in progress in indiana. they gave as one of these recognitions last night in the president -- in the presence of somebody who has actually been there and done that. former gov. jim hunt of north carolina. once again, i feel like i'm out of my class, fighting above my
weight class. herman kahn was probably three times your size. and i said his brain was 33 times mine. i am advised the only previous recipients of this recognition was bill simon. that is intimidating. bill simon was a genuine giant and that's a lot to live up to. i have always admired something about bill simon. some of us think george washington is the greatest of -- his greatest contribution was his last one, that he stepped out of the presidency after two terms when he might easily have continued and establish the precedent, more regal than democratic. bill simon, as the chairman of
the olin foundation faithfully presided over the founders instructions to spend that foundation down to zero and go out of business. i see some former grantees in the audience that probably really hate the fact that he did his duty. but he always did. to be mentioned in the same breath with a person like that leave you speechless. to accept the honor named after herman, does go beyond my powers of description. this risk is any thing one says prove how unworthy you are. i read on another occasion in which some was it controversially graced with an
award, and rejects and was given an honorary degree at harvard. very much disputed by certain people felt he did not measure up to the standards one of the faculty challenge him to acknowledge the honor in latin. [laughter] he apparently drew himself up to this full height and said [unintelligible] and sat down. before we are done, you may wish i adopted a similar approach. it is a cliche of higher education to say that college and graduate school is where people go to learn to think critically. he may not learn anything, but she learned to think critically.
i'm not sure i can say that about my undergraduate or might spotty night school experience, but at the hudson institute, that was my graduate school. if i learned to think critically or the think more profoundly about things, it was there. when i think about herman kahn and of the merry band that left rand corp. and assemble their, this is what i think about first. they thought in ways we should they sought long-term and wrote books with modest titles like the next 200 years. my current job gives me some opportunity to do this. at one point, the two oldest people on the planet earth were both women, farm women who live
in indiana. they were both girlfriend of mine. [laughter] i got them together on edna's 114th birthday. bertha was this spring chicken of 113. somebody from the guinness book of world records showed up that day and proclaimed it the oldest combined meeting of to humans in the history of the planet. it was new year's day and i took her to lunch in her 113th year. afterwards, i overheard a guy from a local radio station interview her and he asked the obvious question. he said all those years and the
history you live through, there must be things that stand out. she named a couple of things like v-day. any american who was alive at the time remembers when president kennedy was killed. she said no, young man, mckinley. [laughter] she was 7 years old when mckinley got shot and went home to the farm. experiences like that help you reading backed to the work of hudson helps to stretch your sense of historical perspective. herman kahn was a believer in anecdotal evidence. he poured through the quantitative records and statistics, but he was well known and history of hudson talks about how he would
interrogate taxicab drivers searching for a negative in sight you may not get elsewhere. my current job is like that. i can't tell you the kind of anecdotal knowledge i have come by. for instance i'm probably the nation's expert on how to sign one name on a goat. [laughter] if you go to 4 h shares, kids want you to sign a lot of things. anyone who wants to know the technique, feel free to see me afterwards. in dupont, indiana, i learned the following -- you cannot safely neuter a hibernating animal. [laughter] in case this comes as news to you, let me inform the, there is
something about the fact that hibernating animals kidneys and livers shutdown and testosterone is essential. i know this because my friend dan gamble who used to raise bears as domestic pets, the way you might have a dog or cat once neutered his favorite bear who eventually developed liver cancer as a result. it was a very sad event. while he was alive is still remembered down there for having gone into the bars with dan on many occasions. one night, he had to match the year and knocked them out cold with his paw. you're not going to find this in any thinktank book. you have to get out and do research.
herman and the people of hudson always thought in a contrarian way. he and his colleagues so personified the view that by the time everybody believes something, it's almost certainly wrong. by the time wisdom becomes conventional, you ought to presume that it has lost its validity. one of the early had some folks who are learned tonight to my delight is still alive, frank arm brister once told me about the early days of operations analysis, which hadson was a pioneer in. in world war two, a bunch of british academics came up with the idea that they would reassemble in a hangar, the
pieces of raf planes that come back and the point was to reassemble the pieces and count the bullet and travels and see which places on the plane might need to be reinforced. when they put it together, there is one piece of the fuselages where there were zero holes sound. one of them 7 guess we don't have to worry about that. some cockney guy painting the hangar said you ought to. they said why? he said those of the ones that don't come back. this is the way, this is how we were trained to think -- perpendicular. the people of hudson retrained by herman and his group to think in a way that was principled but immensely practical. will you indulge the old hudson
chesnutt? come the revolution, the intellectuals are taken to the guillotine. the first one is taken to the blade and the blade gets stuck halfway down. is an act of god and by custom, the guy goes free the second guy is taken and the same thing happens and he goes free. herman is third and he says wait, i think i see your problem. [laughter] when you look at the old kinescopes and read the old books and debriefed the old- timers, herman and the folks who started hudson always had a bias for action this thinking was never about scoring a scholastic or academic point. it was always about figuring out a better way forward.
one of the beautiful phrases herman came up with was the term educated in capacity. it has been said there are some things so absurd only an american intellectual can believe them to be true. herman looked around and recognized its possible to spend so much time thinking, studying, analyzing that you are not likely to produce a practical, common sense answer to the problem that confronts and the devils us. we have in indianapolis, still, thing goodness, this wonderful jewish man who is one of the survivors of the famous beal's the brother's band of partisans. maybe you saw the movie "defiance" about their export -- about their exploits. there refused to submit and
fought and save each other and survive and so forth. in talking to him and in the books about them, there is a phrase i had never heard before. i guess it is a yiddish term. the term is a small bush. it is an intellectual, formerly an elite person in society before the nazis came. but in the forest, in the fight for survival, these formerly leadership elites were next to useless. they did not have craft, they did not understand weapons, did not have to fight or do the things that are now necessary. herman and his kindred spirits were never malbushes, there are
always about applying their inflecting gifts toward real, practical outcomes. to the human progress that could come from them. s. he said in the club of rome environment of the day, to be optimistic is simply to be realistic. we're not going to run out of this or run out of that. his buddy and my buddy, julian simon won the bet on the cover of the new york magazine -- the cover of "new york close "magazine, does anybody remember this? [applause] author, he got a genius award for being wrong every day of your life for 30 years.
julian simon said of fine, he think we're going to run out of things, i bet you. you pick the commodities and abet 10 grand price is lower 10 years from now. that's the way the people of hudson institute believed -- day understood this fundamental fact, extrapolation always leads to a dead end. the history of technology is discontinuous. there will be breakthroughs. there will be discoveries. there will be radical perpendicular turns in history and they eventually lead upward. we could use harmon today. some of the issues he dealt with are back but with a twist. he thought about the unthinkable -- nuclear weapons and how to prevent their use. he was thinking about it in a
world in which the possessors of those weapons, however evil, were rational and wanted to survive. how do we think about nuclear- weapons when they may be possessed by people whose theology tells them that their own immolation maybe their passport to paradise? their mission from god? there's a tough one. i wish we had him to help to think us through it. i read as recently as last saturday's wall street journal, will -- "wall street journal" people who profited mightily worried we are stalling out. that scientific insight and breakthroughs and innovation may simply not be up to the task of continuing to lift living standards here and around the world.
herman is still with us. thinking out tonight, i went to the bookshelf and pulled down some of those volumes. it is great stuff -- things i have forgotten. just try these -- in the context of arguing for lower taxation and a lighter regulatory hand that would let innovation and initiative flour, hermon road -- "one for elite justifiable tax would be on imported oil. any large importation of oil by the u.s. raises security problems. they are in affect external causes associated with importing oil that a tariff would internalized. maybe that is transgressive to some philosophical viewpoint
years, but that is an interesting point today and just as valid as the day he rode it. he wrote that it would be most useful to redesign the tax system to discourage consumption and encourage savings and investment one obvious possibility is a value added tax with a flat income tax with the only exception being a lower standard deduction. that might suit our current situation pretty well. it also might fit bill simon's line that the nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose [laughter] someone designed it on purpose. [laughter] dawn of the boom he forecast.
with one pick up, it went on for a quarter of a century. i know he would tell us today that it is important to preserve what he called and ideologies of progress. he says this is a way of thinking about the past, framing of the future if you believe humankind is capable of meeting its challenges and devising new and better ways of getting forward, it is more likely that will finally happen. it seems to me an hour day, the question is not whether humanity will continue to march upward, whether it will continue to devise the inventions and new
arrangements which lead to more progress for more people, higher standards of living, a better and more just world, the question is whether the united states of america will continue to lead that march or someone else will. in the long view of history in which 235 years is a blip, that is a short moment, not a given that any one nation will continue in leadership or even for very long. none of us is harmon's equal, but we are all his errors if we choose to be. if we think of it in the long term and skeptically about what is commonly accepted, and practically, open-minded way following the fact where they
lead, there is every reason to be optimistic, not only about the result but our nation's role in bit. -- role in it. when i think back through herman's work, there is an affection there for his fellow citizens that i hope we never lose sight of. those who would be friends of freedom and believe free institutions and free markets and free competition of men and women aspiring for a better life is the best motor to list everyone -- in fact is the very best hope of those who enter life with the fewest advantages that i hope each person will resist the
temptation that i occasionally see to engage in despair that occasionally creeps in. i hear too many people who are headed the right direction say things like think how few people pay any taxes. think how many people are on the government dole one way or another. think how our social mores that enable, encourage and protect freedom and prosperity have eroded. real issues. but herman, i believe, i don't presume to speak for him, but i believe from anything i have of the sword from him and those who were around him, would have never given way to that sort of pessimism. that should be left to the
status. fits them better. it's their world view. it fits a world view in which the average citizens of this country or elsewhere are helpless victims, incapable of dealing with the complex, modern world, he needed the benevolent ministrations of their betters. that will prove to be a failed strategy, as we have seen in recent days. it must be countered, not just with a different policy prescription, but a different outlook that is more confident about our fellow citizens and taxi drivers, the people who raise theirs as domestic pets. pets. if we place our faith in them to make decisions in their own
lives, to live as free men and women of dignity, but also make the collective decisions, the hard ones that we will have to make, the ones the skeptics' through the ages they say democracy would not be able to make, to defer gratification, to think more about the future than the present, in short, to governor selves' responsibly, this starting point of an ideology of progress must be to believe in those people. i do. a day you do. i know herman kahn would have. if we follow that conviction where it leads us, america will bloom again and the american project as we have not will resume. thank you for this honor and a great night of fellowship. [applause]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> as we wrap up this evening, i think we have three lessons to take away. first, never neuter a hibernating bear. and the oldest meeting of individuals are on the world is not the hudson board meeting. 3, that you are a worthy heir of herman kahn, his vision and our nature -- our nation leads -- our nation needs your leadership. i want to thank the former prime
minister -- former prime minister abe, dan quayle, thank you. again. [applause] >> had -- the "national journal" hotline shows democratic incumbents are boxer up over a slim margin over her opponent for california's u.s. senate seat. senate contest in west virginia, illinois and colorado are also razor-thin close. if there's any doubt about which party will control the senate, it will be the outcome in
washington state where slow ballot counting could have democratic incumbent senator patty murray and the challenger waiting for results for days. live at 8:00 tonight, it is the west virginia senate debate which we have just heard is a close race between the democratic governor and his challenger. the first of three races -- wisconsin's seventh, illinois' 11th, and arizona's fifth district. on friday, the focus will be on the senate race in pennsylvania where democrat joe sestak is up toomey. pat r >> this week on "the
communicators" -- microsoft's and then read on computers and the role his company in computers and software. >> saturdays -- landmark supreme court cases on c-span radio. >> on christmas time in 1965, they decided it would wear a small black armbands to express certain views they had in regard to the war in vietnam. it is still the acid test for the constitutional rights of students. hear the argument saturday on c- span or radio. -- on c-span radio. >> now, the former "car czar"
who joined us on the "washington journal." thor of the book, overhaul, an insider's account of the obama administration." this was billed as the first insider account of the obama administration. you were involved in the automobile prices. you were there during that crucial time for five or six months that you were involved in that. what gave you the impetus to take on this challenge? host: -- guest: i always believe in public service, that a component of someone's life should involve giving something back. i was approached by timothy geithner and larry summers, asked if i wanted to help. that i am a finance person. host: did you realize that the time how big that prices could
be and what you would be getting yourself into? colorado i haven't -- guest: i had some idea. but i had no idea how complicated it was, both politically and legally. i had no idea how broad it was, a specially -- especially when it ended. i almost backed out a few times before i first took the job because it was very daunting. host: steven rattner started his career at "the new york times," and economic reporter, moving on to places like morgan stanley, then becoming counselor to the secretary. we are talking about his new book, "overhaul."
you wrote that "in the end it would prove to be not just the story of two automakers, it was the story of the challenges facing the people of the 21st century -- host: how were you able to move in the although the administration? guest: in no particular order, we had tarp, which was our salvation, as it was for the public and for the bank. what some people do not understand is that without it we would surely have had a massive and economic -- massive economic crisis. .
was no private market. gm and chrysler had run out of cash. the bush administration had given them $17 million to get them through the first quarter of 2009, but it was going to happen again. if we did not do what we did, those companies would have shut their doors. it would have been in worse because -- would have been worse because even they suppliers would have had to shut down. it would have been an economic catastrophe beyond anything that we can think of in history. host: as you were approached by members of the obama administration of working with them, there were some other economic problems facing the country. you talk about chuck schumer being a friend.
so you knew this was not going to be an easy pairing, going into it. guest: no, one my name was first fleet, what happened was, members from my own party, legislature came down hard on me and said, he does not know anything about manufacturing, he is the wrong man for the job. while almost went back to new york at that time. host: toledo, ohio. fred on the republican line. caller: first of all, i want to think c-span.
c-span. the approach to fixing the car industry, i do not think it has been addressed yet. i have worked in the auto industry for over 30 years. back in 1975 was when i first started working at ford. quality and has always been an issue. i do not know what mr. rattner's book is about, but i know for a fact, because i was there, the quality of the management decisions -- any time anyone in the inspection department would call something to the attention of a manager, they had the ability to let it go or fix it.
guest: respectfully, a lot of what you said would have been true years ago, but the ford company has made great strides in improving quality. one way that we can see this is a number of complaints going to the national traffic highway safety it ministration. gm was getting six times the number of complaints that title was getting. now, taking into account the recalls, they are now at the same level. other errors are work in progress -- areas are works in progress, but i do not think that quality is one of them anymore. host: when did you get to a point when they came to you asking for a bailout?
guest: there was the gasoline crisis, a credit crisis, the overhang of excessive benefits, uaw contracts -- all of this played a role. remember, ford and -- chrysler and general motors went bankrupt. ford did not. they had the same union contracts, saying japanese competition, same gas prices. so what was the difference? i believe it was their management. host: you say that a few managers can make a key difference. guest: absolutely. jack welch at general electric. one person can in fuse a company with their own set of values. host: robert in georgia. caller: i did not get a chance
to read your book but i do know some things such as design obsolescence. it probably got people to where we are at. things would break and then people would go out and buy it again. i was not for it, but that is part of it. i remember president bush gave incentives for people to buy what youdo not know think about that, but it is not a smart idea. guest: i do not remember that, but i agree, it is not a smart idea. on the other side, we now have the incentive to buy electric cars. in a perfect world, which was
part of our philosophy in the rescue, you want the government out of it as much as possible. this is what we have a private sector, competition for. host: there was an allegation of a pay to play incident that had been written about by the news. "of the washington -- "the washington post" reports -- can you comment on that? guest: unfortunately, i cannot. i understand why you need to. my lawyers have been clear that while this is still in the
process, i need to not comment on this. host: is this the reason that you left? it had you felt that your work had concluded? guest: i felt like my work was completed. when i started, they said that it would be quick. even though general motors is still 61% owned by the government, they are making their own decisions. hopefully, the government being involved in the car industry is coming to a close. host: how healthy is the industry? guest: pretty healthy. certainly, down from their peak earlier in the year. it is not a particularly high level of car sales, but because the big three of detroit have
restructured, they are making money. general motors had their first two quarters of profitable in come in several years. ford has been making good money for several years. so you have low sales, a depressed management -- and it is interesting to me to watch car sales as it reflects the general economy. host: bob from duluth, minnesota. democratic line. caller: thanks for c-span. i think one of the biggest troubles of the car industry, many industries, you do not have hands in the -- money in and of the common consumer.
wall street cost a lot of that. -- coaused a lot of that. if they could reform what was happening on wall street, for example, making and auditing company sign off on the books -- in other words, someone goes to jail if they cook the books. the biggest problem is wall street compensation. host: how reflective was your as to what was happening with t.a.r.p.? guest: 90% of our mission was focused on that, but we were others in theh
process. as difficult as our assignment was, the assignment that the banking team had was much tougher. there are no easy, good solutions. host: chad, republican. the bad debt. good morning. -- nevada. caller: i have a question. host: please send it. what is your question? ok, moving on to roger in dallas, texas. caller: the recent inspector general's report on the bailout tells us the decision was made not to close any women or minority-owned dealerships.
could you walk us through that process and how you reached that decision? guest: first of all, i do not remember that decision being made. i would not swear to it, but my recollection tells me that we did close some minority-owned to the ships. none of us on the task force made any decisions on which dealers to close. we were told there were too many dealers in the country and they had to be reduced. the company told us, you tell us which one needs to be closed. we simply want to see the overall numbers and make sure they make sense. this is not withstanding the fact that i got dozens of
requests, asking us to tilt in favor. we never did anything. it was the company's decision. host: next phone call. caller: i have a message for corporate america. basically, we need to realize the truth and pay homage to the people who serve the country and reducing the national deficit for the number of people involved in the war. host: any comment? guest: i think it is beyond the scope of our visit today. host: you mentioned your team was able to move pretty quickly. congress was calling on you to save certain dealerships. what should congress's role be? guest: i think we need to think hard what their role should be in any capacity. obviously, we need a legislative
branch, but i think the majority of your viewers would agree that it is not working as it should. the only thing that we heard about autos was a specific plant and dealer issues. ultimately, congress passed legislation on how it should be. the congress devoted a non- trivial amount of its time in the summer of 2009 passing legislation on dealers. i think that is misplaced priority. congress should have a broader role in setting up the parameters of these rescue efforts, but they instead prefer to be involved in small, parochial matters. host: maria, washington, d.c. caller: i have a comment and a question. in the bailout, all the money
went to the car industry. i think the money should have gone to the people instead. now we have all of these cdo's, mortgage securities. the united states needs manufacturing. host: your response? guest: in response to my colleagues doing the financial rescue, it was a much tougher assignment. you have this intertwined financial system with trillions of dollars and liabilities, intertwined, the mechanism for winding down failing institutions, which is a critical institution. when lehman brothers meltdowed down, if we did not do what we
did, it would have caused much bigger problems. what we did was not perfect, it was okay. i do not disagree with your caller. it could have been better, but the alternative would have been worse. host: you write -- what did you mean by that? guest: again, we were a bit of an exception, but most people come in here -- 95% of good ideas need good legislation. the good to congress and the process is excruciatingly endless, and often, patty. being back in the private sector
for a while, that process compared to the personal aspects of coming to washington, conflicts of interest, questioning of one's morals, agendas -- most of my friends in washington would not come down here. they believe it is too unpleasant, even those that want to serve their country. host: next phone call on the republican line. alan. caller: could you explain to me how it is that the first time in the country the bond holders were not placed first in this scenario? they were completely thrown aside for the unions. i do not have any skin in this game, but when you fourth rule of law, i would like an explanation. guest: i will try to give you an
explanation. first of all, it is not the first time in the history of the country. let me take it in reverse order. you are probably talking more about chrysler than general motors. the way that we handled the creditors was litigate through the court system, bankruptcy court, all the way to the u.s. supreme court. not one judge gave the plaintiffs an ounce of encouragement, no boats in their favor. every court affirmed the fact that what we did was in accordance with existing bankruptcy law. we established no new laws. the second point to remember is that every stakeholder in both companies the more than there would have gone in liquidation chrysler banks had $9.6 billion in obligations. we gave them $2 billion in cash.
if they had liquidated, there would have gone $1 billion. did you a w take a big hair cut? yes, but we gave them more of what they may have been entitled to in bankruptcy. by the way, there are others that got more than they would have gone in bankruptcy. in particular, warranty holders. in bankruptcy, you would have had no warranty on your car. we allowed those warranty to be protected $1 on the dollar. host: our guest is the author of "overall." -- "overhaul."
it is one of the first accounts where we are hearing from inside the obama administration. jim writes on twitter -- more specifics on what these three other companies need to do from here on out. guest: they need to continue to execute. for general motors, we took their break-even point, and the need to sell about 70 million cars -- 17 million cars in a year, and reduced it to about 10. as i said earlier, at 11.8 million cars a year, gm is still making good money. at 15 million car sales, gm will make a fortune because of the much lower cost space. they need to continue to adjust
what they are doing and improve it further. they will do fine. host: drawn from new hampshire. independent line. caller: -- drawn from new hampshire. caller: -- john from new hampshire. caller: i wonder if your guest is going to buy gm stock when they go to their ipo? guest: i may. is general motors a sound, viable company with an exciting future? the answer is yes, but i have to make sure the price is correct. i have no hesitation about owning general motors stock. writes to us from oklahoma --
guest: t.a.r.p., when it was passed, empower the secretary of the treasury to allocate those dollars in a way that he sees fit to end this financial crisis. again, every step of the way was closely scrutinized by treasury and white house lawyers to make sure it was in accord with that. it was determined that t.a.r.p. money could be used legally to help these car companies. guest: gene on the democrat's line. caller: i am a refugee from dearborn. in my time, working in the domestic auto industry, i found that our system models changed. we were no longer functioning as
a manufacturing company. our real business was finance because we were taking the money we were making from vehicles -- not talking about the financing, talking about the vehicles coming in from the dealers, the short-term market -- and that is how we made our money. that is why the cars asked for a bailout. we were lower on the food chain. guest: there is some validity in what you are saying, because of their pre-existing market, they were able to achieve favorable terms with their dealers. there may well have been a time when that was a source of good
profit, when short-term interest rates were high, but today, the money they are making is the old fashioned way, by manufacturing and selling cars at prices where they can achieve a decent profits. host: michigan. actually, instead let's go to bill in florida. caller: this is phil. my question for mr. rattner is pretty basic, but an important one. in the voting cycle that is going on right now, is it realistic for voters to believe that if we had not done what we did for the banks and auto industry, that it is possible we could be in a depression today?
guest: i do not know how i can say this more forcefully, with more conviction, passion than i can say now. there is absolutely no question -- no question -- that if we have not passed t.a.r.p., if we had not used this and other programs as effectively as printed on behalf of the financial and auto sector, this country would be in a depression. i have absolutely no doubt in my mind about that. the financial system would have collapsed. detroit and related businesses would have collapsed. i do not know what else to call that. we should consider ourselves very fortunate and lucky that these two administrations used this program effectively. host: in your book, you're right write --
this is -- guest: this is particularly the misunderstanding, a policy that is out there today. there was no private financing where there normally is to go through bankruptcy. it was a dire situation, financial markets were closed. they would have closed their doors, paid their people, turned off their lights, the suppliers would have gone bankrupt, and the rest of the industry with them. host: barre in illinois. caller: i am a first-time caller. i feel like they did the right thing with the bailout, but it did not have teeth or accountability. without those large corporations saying that they would give the specific
guidelines on how they would disburse the money, that you would be able to review the documents instead of saying we are going to do the same thing but at a lower scale. we knew that congress was coming in with the jumbo jets. it was a clear reflection that they were out of touch with the people buying their cars. guest: no question they were out of touch. one of the reactions to that was that congress demanded a series of reductions. corporate jets were gone. kenneth feinberg put in place rules to oversee compensation. no golden parachutes. all these sorts of rules to control their excesses'.
we tried to be very careful. i had a team of the exceptional people who looked at the numbers to make sure the money we were putting in was the right amount, was going to the right purpose. however, the president made a decision that we would not have government-owned companies. even though we have a larger position in gm, we have put this in the hands of private boards, private individuals. host: karen in oklahoma. republican line. caller: i just want to say, thank you c-span. these car companies jack up their prices and they did it to themselves. we own 61% of gm, how come the
taxpayers do not have some sort of representation on that? guest: the president, larry summers, tim geithner, made the decision that we do not want government-controlled companies in this country. we did not want to be 61% shareholders. it was the best way that we found to get the taxpayers their money back. we do not know how to run a company like this. we put in management that knows how to run these companies, and that is the right approach. host: what happens if one of the big three comes back and says we need more money? guest: it would be very tough. what you did was a moment in time, a systemic failure. to be fair to them, some of the
factors were out of their control. host: sterling, missouri. caller: good morning. the answer that you just gave, if one of them goes bust again, you said that we would have been in a depression if we allow that to happen. it seems, over time, that they are going to move back to that same position before you all had to jump in. guest: a year and a half ago we would have been in a depression to because we would have lost the entire car company at a moment where we could not afford to lose something of that magnitude. right now, the economy is weak, we are out of the financial crisis perspective here, but
right now if we lost chrysler, we could do so without going into a depression. all three companies are run by gentlemen who were not car executives. two of them are completely new to the industry. we brought in fresh blood to change the way that these companies operate, and i believe they are doing it. host: ralph in california. independent line. caller: when chrysler cambecamen llc, what happened to the old debt? was it carried over to the new company? maybe they were trying to avoid paying the old debt of chrysler. guest: if i understand your
question, when we were involved, there was a massive amount of debt. it had been through a leveraged buyout, was over leveraged, and we ended up restructuring that debt. some of it was written off. the most senior debt got $2 billion. essentially, the left most of that behind and started out new. we wanted to have a clean balance sheet for the company to start. host: has the president, administration, been too hard on the auto sector? guest: i think the president is trying to find a balance between the fact that this country is incredibly angry at the financial sector. on the other hand, the president
understand that we need a viable financial sector to function. i think he has been walking a careful, appropriate line. he is the president of all people, not just wall street. i think he is doing a good job making clear that some of the practices on wall street have to stop. host: barre in california. caller: i really appreciate his work on this problem. people who do volunteer work of this type -- essentially, it was volunteer work -- and there are people that really appreciate what they did, the impact it has had on the economy. host: absolutely, and adding on, how unique was it for people in the wall street world to come and work in washington?
guest: i am incredibly proud of our team. we were 14 people who did not know each other, mostly from wall street, come down here, working unbelievable hours for little to no compensation. it was all done out of patriotism and service. these are people who had expertise that are relevant to the problems of the moment. we could not solve what was happening in afghanistan, but we were able to help. it was an extraordinary effort. it is not unusual for wall street people to come into government service. this type of task force, however, is unusual because of the time. i do feel the mood of the people that i know have changed. the excitement of public
service, of being here, has been diminished a lot by some of the ugly aspects. host: >> daniel reed on the role of software and technology on c- .pan t2 >> joe manchin and jim raese are in a neck-and-neck race. there would be a repeal of some elements of the health care law, and there are acts of him literally shooting the capt.
trade bill. he has run unsuccessfully for the senate twice before. race has a home in florida and is not eligible to vote in west virginia. we will have that west virginia senate debate live on c-span tonight at 8:00 eastern. in a few house debates with the candidates in wisconsin seventh -- seventh district. followed by illinois' 11th and arizona's fifth. >> is time to get your camera rolling for this year's studentcam. the video documentary competition, up 5 to 8 minute video on this year's theme, washington, d.c. to remind -- through my lenses.
the deadline is january 20 it and you have a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. there's $50,000 in total prizes. the studentcam video documentary competition is open for student's grade 6-12. for complete details go to studentcam.org. >> saturday, landmark supreme court cases on c-span radio. >> christmas time in 1965, they would wear small black armbands for views that they had with regard to the would war in vietnam. >> tinker v. des moines. . the argument saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span radio.
>> topic said today state department briefing include iranian influence on the new government in iraq and u.s. efforts to get chinese companies to stop doing business with iran. p.j. crowley spoke with reporters for about 40 minutes. >> yikes. i believe that there are cougars in the house. there are. >> not that kind. [laughter] ba-dum bum. welcome to the department of state. we should welcome students from brigham young university who are here to learn about the briefing process and the mayhem that occurs here in the state department briefing room every single day. but to business.
the secretary is currently having lunch with dr. henry kissinger, former secretary of state, and also former state councilor tang jiaxuan, who are co hosting the u.s.-china track two dialogue, an ongoing dialogue of non-official channels. later on this afternoon and tomorrow, the group will also be hearing from secretary gates and secretary geithner. the group over the course of a couple of days will be reviewing the current state of our strategic relationship with china, but they will also talk about and consider specific issues from climate change to asia pacific security cooperation to economic and financial issues. tomorrow the secretary will host
the u.s.-northern ireland economic conference your the state department. the u.s. has long supported the peace process in northern ireland and the secretary herself has been personally committed to it since her time as first lady. the people of northern ireland have been significant progress in the peace process, and this conference will bring together u.s. business leaders and northern ireland government officials to discuss ways to further that progress by encouraging increased economic and trade activity between the united states and northern ireland. and then the secretary will also hold bilateral meetings with state secretary for northern ireland owen paterson, the northern irish first minister and deputy first minister -- that would be peter robinson and martin mcguinness, respectively. also today at the state department, deputy secretary jim steinberg and the israeli deputy foreign minister danny ayalon are leading u.s. and
israeli delegations in participating in the semi-annual u.s.-israel strategic dialogue. it allows our countries to participate in a robust dialogue on issues facing the united states, israel, and the region. and also the united states and mexico have been working in close cooperation on sea turtle conservation as well as a range of bilateral fisheries and marine conservation issues of importance to the two nations. the government of mexico implemented a plan of action to strengthen sea turtle conservation in its shrimp trawl fisheries. this plan of action represents significant improvements in the use of turtle excluder devices by its fishing industry. we're pleased to report that as of friday the state department has certified mexico under section 609 of u.s. public all 101-162, which prohibits the importation of shrimp and shrimp products harvested in ways that
may adversely affect some sea turtle species. this certification is based on the determination that mexico's turtle excluder devices are comparable to effective as to the u.s. program. >> so we can get shrimp as well as drugs from mexico. [laughter] >> and of great significance and news to mr. lee, under secretary for management pat kennedy hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a new u.s. passport agency serving the residents of buffalo and the surrounding region. the agency located in historic downtown buffalo will issue u.s. passport books and passport cards on site to citizens with urgent travel requirements. and it is that 111 genesee street in buffalo. and the naming rights are still up in the air. >> is disconcerting to galway and find out that your city's
teams have a combined record of 1 and 10. >> but now you have a passport agency in case they want to leave the country. >> they may have to. >> go ahead. >> i have a couple questions on iraq. there were a spate of stories about the political situation and the formation of the new government there. u.s. concerns -- alleged u.s. concerns that iran may be playing quite a big role, that they may be trying to form a shadow government in the iraq -- in iraq, and these are just what the reports say. but that you are telling the iraqis to slow down, whereas before your telling them to speed up and get a government in place as soon as possible. >> our message to iraq has not changed all. we want to see the formation of a new government expeditiously. if we also want to be sure that the new government is inclusive of all four winning blocs.
so our message has not changed. it has been more than six months since the election, but we do notice that the pace of political action to try to form a governing coalition has picked up in the iraq in recent months -- recent weeks. prime minister maliki is visiting iran today. i would not over-interpret this. we understand that iran and iraq are neighbors. they have to have a relationship. but we certainly think that run can be a better neighbor by respecting iraqi sovereignty and ending it support to those who use violence in iraq. welcome back. >> to you find the statement made by allawi on this issue to be disconcerting by a run really
meddling in iraqi politics and in many ways preempting any kind of coalition formation? about anyerned neighboring country that would meddle in iraq's affairs. ultimately this has to be an iraqi decision as part of its own political process and we have every indication that iraq 's leaders are working to try to form a government. we just want to see that government be as inclusive as impact -- as possible. our concerns about iraq and its -- our concerns about iran and its meddling in iraq's affairs are longstanding, but that said, we would expect the iraqi government to work on behalf of its own citizens and not on behalf of another country. >> quick follow-up -- p.j., maliki visited jordan and syria
and now he is visiting iran. but the saudis, another major neighboring country, so far has not extended any invitation to mr. maliki all throughout his tenure. is that something that concerns you? would you put some sort of pressure on the saudis to receive them? >> we want to see iraq establish and sustain appropriate relations with all of its neighbors. we want to see iraq integrated into the region. but it is not for us to dictate to a particular country what their relations with a government should be. we have talked to saudi arabia and encouraged them to increase their dialogue with iraq, but obviously what they do is up to them. >> just to follow up quickly -- according to "the washington post" and other reports, or ron is also meddling in the affairs of afghanistan. can you have peace in iraq and in the neighborhood without
iran? >> can we have peace in the neighborhood without? >> laron or iranian dialogue or involvement? >> we want to see iran being -- play a constructive role in the region. we have a lengthy list of concerns about or ron's behavior, not the least of which, its direct support of terrorism groups and its nuclear ambitions. we understand that ron -- iran in the context of afghanistan does have relations with afghanistan and has interests in afghanistan. in fact, we have worked directly and cooperatively with iran previously. and we note today there was an
important regional meeting in rome and there was iranian representation at that meeting. >> one more follow-up on iran and iraq -- are you concerned that these reports suggest that iraq has brokered a deal between maliki and muqtada al sadr, the leader of the madhi army? >> we believe that they should be an issue that is resolved inside iraq, by iraqi leaders, working on behalf of their constituencies and working for the interests of iraq and no other country. we want to see a government formed. we believe a government that emerges that is inclusive and reflects the major blocs that earn significant electoral support will be a government that is strong enough and credible enough to work on behalf of all the people of iraq. the sooner that happens, the better.
>> on iraq -- "the new york times" has reported yesterday that members of awakening councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months and the defections, as it said, have been driven in part by frustration with the government, which awakening members say is intent on destroying them as well as by pressure from al qaeda. you have anything on this? >> we actually believe that the government of iraq is working constructively with the awakening councils with living up to the agreements that it made earlier. i think in terms of saying that there is one group that has moved in a direction and is responsible for significant levels of violence, i think, oversimplifies the challenge in iraq. >> you are not concerned about this? >> i suppose there are
undoubtedly a number of individuals who have gone back into perpetuating violence. we do not think it is a large number. we think by and large the government of iraq is working -- is engaged with the awakening councils and working to keep its members working constructively for the future of iraq. i do not know that we agree with the thrust of that article. >> p.j. on the awakening councils. the major gripe is that do not get paid by the iraqi government unless a pressure is levied on the iraqi government by the u.s. government. going forward and this is something that we continue to talk to iraq. there was i think a problem that existed some time ago, but we think that iraq has improved its
interaction with and its support of the awakening councils. >> doesn't that damage the concept of this whole thing? i mean, right when these awakening councils began, the criticism was as long as the money is there, people will be in those councils. s and is the money is gone, they will go back to al qaeda or to somebody else. it would appear that in some cases, it did not change that much. perhaps temporarily it brought them over, but not permanently. and this same strategy is being used in afghanistan right now with pay for work programs and other similar concepts. >> jill, i think -- your comment is a little bit oversimplified. we want to see a government emerge in iraq that is working
on behalf of all people in iraq. we want a government that sunnis can support, shi'a and support, kurds can support, other religious and ethnic minorities can support. we want a government that is working on behalf of everyone and is not being perceived as a government working for one at the disadvantage of another. that is what is going to be vital to the future of iraq. if that government is credible, if the government is doing what it should do to meet the needs of its people, then that is how you change attitudes and that is how you overcome existing tensions which are still a part of iraqi society. so we're focused on forming this government and we think that as this government is formed and as
the government performs on behalf of all iraqis, then that is the best way to convince people to move past these tensions and past violence and towards a better future for all of iraqi citizens. >> " one little point on this. what i was referring to is specifically these awakening councils. i am not talking big picture. i'm talking about the concept of paying people to join awakening councils, and when the money runs out -- it's a very simple question -- when the money runs out, people no longer want to stick around because they do not share the goals or they think that maybe they ought to go back and get on the payroll of al qaeda or somebody else. doesn't that undercut that concept of paying people? >> i do not think so. >> back on iran for a second. you have any comments or reactions to iran taking over the reins at opec? >> we took that party on -- we took that question on friday. i don't think we have had an
answer yet. >> and then on feltman s visit -- his secret visit to lebanon. [laughter] >> does that have anything to do with before he got there. >> that is not true. we announced mr. feltman's travel. >> it is not in the week ahead. it started in his second stop. >> he issued a very detailed statement after he met with president sulayman. i be happy to do a dramatic reading if you like. >> i will like to know that had anything to do with ahmadinejad's visit to lebanon last week, and the guerrilla front did any concern that you might have that iran was sticking its nose into yet another place that you do not want it to be. >> we expressed our concerns to the government of lebanon before president ahmadinejad visited. jeff is on a lengthy trip to the region, and i am quite certain
that the subject of president ahmadinejad's visit came up during his meeting with president sulayman yesterday. it was also in saudi arabia today. he is in morocco where he had a meeting with foreign minister fassi-fihri. this is not a secret meeting. >> level on was not on a schedule. >> lebanon was not on his schedule? >> not in the announcement. >> i take that back. >> so it was secret? >> i will check and we will answer the question whether this was added to his travel after he left washington. >> any comment or details on alleged assassination attempt on ahmadinejad in lebanon? >> i have no information on that. >> to lebanon and the -- anything on the story this morning about the administration looking at chinese firms for busting iran sanctions?
>> china was integral in the process that led to the drafting and passage of un security council resolution 1929. china has pledged to fully enforce resolution 1929. our special advisor bob einhorn has had multiple meetings with the chinese in new york during the un general assembly and also in beijing towards the end of last month. and with its abrupt -- we did provide some information to china on specific concerns about individual chinese companies and the chinese assured us that they will investigate. >> the first article makes it sound as though the chinese is now the primary concern for the administration as far as potential sanctions.
is that fair? >> i would not characterize it that way. as mr. einhorn has been raised -- visiting a range of countries that aquino had extensive economic dealings with iran, china is one of them but not the only one. and we have worked with china in recent months and years to encourage china to improve its export controls. we think that china has actually made significant progress in strengthening its export control system and it pledged to follow on the information that we provide them. >> p.j., another topic. there is a "york times" story about one of the wives of david headley who was involved in the mumbai attacks, that apparently a year before that attack, she went to the american authorities in pakistan to warn
them that she thought he was involved in some type of plotting for an attack. but it was never followed up on. and this was not the first warning, there was another wife who did it years before. is this a communications breakdown? do we know anything about this? can you confirm that that is the case? >> i will respond in the context of two meetings that we had with one of mr. headley's she did provide us with information and we followed up with that information. >> as far as these training camps are concerned which mr.
david headley told u.s. and indian officials when they interviewed him. and also, in an interview general musharraf also told a german magazine that 22 terrorist camps were in pakistan. one, are they closed now? can you make sure that those camps are now closed, if you have told the pakistani authorities or if you're going to tell them here when they meet during this coming meeting? >> well, there's a lot to question. we have cooperated extensively in investigating the tragic mumbai attacks, including giving indian officials access to mr. headley. beyond that, i am not going to comment about any alleged particulars in those discussions. we have been pressing pakistan to take more aggressive action inside its borders to deal with
a threat that is of concern to us, a concern to the region, and a threat to pakistan itself. we -- as we have noticed many times, pakistan has taken aggressive action within its own borders. but clearly, this is an ongoing threat and more needs to be done. that will be among the issues talked about during this week's strategic dialogue. >> and p.j., when president and secretary visits mumbai in november 1 week and they will be staying at the terrorist bombings from pakistan, what message do you think they are carrying for the people of mumbai? >> well, we continue to cooperate extensively with indian officials. we were doing so prior to the mumbai attacks. we have done so since the mumbai attacks.
security is an area of significant dialogue between our law enforcement and intelligence agencies and those of the indian government. we will continue to cooperate on the security front, but even as we expand our dialogue and our cooperation with india on many many fronts. and obviously, this will be part of the presence -- part of the president's visit to india next month. >> can we get back to the wife's -- >> yes, you said that you had this input from them. so did you follow up on that input? was that input from islam a bad reach washington? and did you share it with any other countries -- india, pakistan? because allegations in the articles are coming out you did not to do anything on it. >> well, let's go through this. did we follow up?
the answer is yes. did we share information with our security partners, including india, prior to the mumbai attacks? the answer is yes. we have cooperated with india since then. i think ambassador roemer put out an extensive statement in delhi over the weekend that highlighted both avi -- our cooperation with india in -- prior to and after. needless to say, i would just say that, going back over some of the information provided to us, there was concern expressed by both spouses at the same time. the information was not specific. i think everyone should understand that, if we did have specific information on this, we would have absolutely provided it to the indian government beforehand.
the fact is that, while we had information and concerns, it did not detail a time or place of the attack. >> have you noticed any change or uptick in cooperation between india and the u.s. on intelligence matters. everything you're talking about now was not on your watch. it was under the previous administration. has there been an increase in cooperation now? >> the short answer is yes. we have an extensive dialogue with india and, as we build a strategic partnership with india and security is one of those areas, i would say yes, our cooperation with india has expanded. >> so can you say if anything would have been done differently, if this administration would have done anything different than what the last one did? >> if it's an impossible
question to answer. >> a follow on the same issue? he said that the information which was provided by the wives of headley was taken seriously and further investigated upon. then why wasn't he arrested during or soon after mumbai? why it took so many years -- more than one and a half years to arrest him? >> i cannot answer that question. >> same issue, you said that information was not specific enough to be followed. did i get that right? >> in the contacts that we had with his spouses, there was not specific intermission as to who you associate with or what they were planning to do. >> but did did you not say -- but did not she say lashkar, she was training at the last car? >> again, i will just say there was not enough specific information provided. >> is senator mitchell but dissipating in the u.s.-israel
strategic dialogue or this doesn't include the peace process? >> senator mitchell is in new york. he maintains contact with the parties as we look to create conditions for direct negotiation to continue. the strategic dialogue with israel is really about the bilateral relationship. >> but what's the next dep regarding the peace process? >> we continue to work with the parties to create conditions for direct negotiations to continue. those conversations are ongoing. >> so if you were to give us a brief status report, where do we stand? i mean since the beginning of september 2, until today? >> no change from last week. >> on north korea, would you mind if i talk about north korea? >> i welcome the opportunity to talk about north korea. >> ok. thank you. seems like a bunch of specialists of the united states are invited to north korea,
including mr. pritchard and mr. hecker of los alamos. and what is your comment on that. -- on that? do you see any policy change coming after their visit? >> there are academics who have made periodic trips to north korea. mr. hecker is one of them. mr. pritchard is another. and i think mr. pritchard has given us a heads up that he is about to head to north korea in the next couple of weeks. >> the change of subject? >> we value that kind of dialogue, but, obviously, it is not a substitute for the specific actions that north korea has to take to live up to its obligations. >> the french government
announced that they have some intelligence about a specific attack on france that might be considered -- that might be pending or imminent. is there any consideration of increasing the -- the travel alert that was issued several is to go to a specific warning for americans who might be traveling in france or heading over there? >> well, i think, with at getting into any specific intelligence information, we have a travel alert that is current regarding europe. our view has not changed on that. >> russia? >> can we go back to north korea for one quick second? >> sure. >> just to close off that line of questioning, can you state that mr. pritchard and mr. hecker are not carrying any kind of message from the united states. they are not being interlocutors for the u.s. government. this is strictly a private trip
and they're not actually doing anything on behalf of the u.s. government? >> well, i suppose in the interest of full disclosure, mr. pritchard is not carrying a specific message from the united states government. i played golf with him on saturday and i can -- i know exactly what he's doing. >> who won the golf game? >> i did. [laughter] >> president medvedev has given awards to the intelligence officers who work here in the united states. you have a comment on that? >> now. >> no. >> the president of afghanistan today issued a decree giving his -- exempting some of the private security companies to continue after his deadline expires in december. you have any comment? >> we have been working with the
afghan government to fully understand what it is trying to do. we certainly support afghan efforts to properly regulate private security firms that are doing business inside afghanistan. i think that this is a conversation that is continuing because there are some complexities here. i we understand there are some exemptions for those firms that are protecting embassies and military compounds and we think that is an appropriate step to take. but there are some other issues that we're still try to work through with the afghan government. >> so what are the other issues? >> i think there are some questions about how this might affect ongoing aid workers and the security that they need to continue to function on behalf of the afghan people. >> thank you. >> the egyptian election? >> ok.
sorry, just a sort of remedial question. on the track to dialogue, how often it meets, does the treasury secretary always address them? does the defense secretary always address them? >> that is a very good question. i think the kissinger associates have put together this dialogue. i believe the first one was held in 2009. >> so you do not know if the treasury secretary has addressed them last year, for instance? >> well last year, the meeting was held in beijing. ok. so it would be the finance minister, then? >> right. so it might have been their senior officials that we're addressing. obviously, this year, they're in
washington, so the opportunity for u.s. officials to address them. >> and is the name list public or private? >> on the composition of the dialogue, i would defer to dr. kissinger's office. >> egyptian elections? as the data to them -- as the date of november 29 address theirs, are you pressing for the international monitors to monitor the egyptian parliamentary elections? >> let me up to eight on what your doing and why do you not ask me that question tomorrow? >> the elections coming up, do you have any comment on the burmese decision not to allow anyone into the country to cover or monitor the elections? >> it is unfortunate. but not surprising. given burma's track record in leading up to these elections. obviously, we have already said that we do not think that these
will be credible elections and the fact that they are not going to open it up for outsider observers is par for the course. >> do you have any message for the people of burma? should they participate in this election, boycott these elections? >> we only wish that burma had taken the advantage of the opportunity to have a more open election and as part of the efforts to increase its dialogue within civil society in burma. these are ongoing lost opportunities by burma. >> just going back to the so- called track two dialogue, why can you not release the list of the particulars -- of the participants? this is an event that's being held in this department. it includes the participation of the u.s. secretary stake and other significant officials. >> if you want us to potentially list to was at lunch today, i will take that question. >> ok. and then a second thing related
to terminology, track to only refers to contacts not between government officials and others, but rather people who are not government officials. in other words, it is more often former u.s. government officials and, say, former german or whatever officials or academics. but this is not -- secretary clinton is assuredly a track one official. why do you call this track two? >> well, the group itself is track two. that said, with their presence in washington, administration officials have taken advantage of the opportunity to have some dialogue with them. but the core group itself is a genuine track two initiative. >> and then a final one, if i may. can you just tell us -- can you give us some kind of a readout of what she says?
>> i will see when i can do. >> is the meeting actually here? i thought that -- i was under the impression this was just like an informal lunch. >> the lunch is upstairs. >> the hotel is about -- the meeting is at the hotel. >> this is lunch. well i read off the lunch? now. >> is there some kind of formal -- >> it is an informal discussion. it's not a formal speech. it is just lunch. >> ok. [laughter] >> i will release the menu. >> great. separately, during the you nga, assistant secretary alan isela
met with the cuban foreign minister. can you tell us what that meeting was about? >> the meeting was to encourage the release of alan gross. unfortunately, that has not yet happened. >> did they give you any reason to think that it might happen? >> again, the purpose of the meeting was simply to encourage his release. >> buchanan say any thing -- nothing out of the meeting makes you think his release is any more or any less likely? >> i mean, we would hope that it would happen today, but that is up to the giving iran. >> so they gave you no indication that he was going to be released? >> i am not aware that they did. >> as far as human rights, democracy, and freedom around the globe is concerned, people are now demonstrating around the globe and, because of meddling by the military in their governments or hundreds of people -- or military rule, including outside hundreds of people are demonstrating from
guinea -- >> what country are we talking about or are you talking about the entire world? >> right now, outside, the country guinea in america, there are outside hundreds of people demonstrating for -- >> we have been encouraging guinea conakry to hold a credible election. they have had one round. they have postponed the follow- up round. we're working with guinea conakry on preparations for that election. we hope it will happen soon. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the midterm elections are in about two weeks. we are showing debates from around the country. that gets underway tonight in
about 40 minutes at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. the west virginia senate debate where democratic gov. manson is competing with the republican candidates macracy. we will have more coverage of the west virginia senate race on tomorrows "washington journal." also, we will have the effect of african-american voters on the elections. if you miss any of our campaign coverage, go to c-span.org /politics. you can see the debate, candidates, ads, and speeches. >> daniel reed on the future of humor in traction with computers -- human interaction with computers. >> saturdays, landmark supreme court cases on c-span radio. >> the conduct of the students
potentially was this. at christmastime 1965, they decided they would wear small black armbands to express certain views on the war in vietnam. >> they were suspended. the acid test for the constitutional rights of students. hear the argument on saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span radio in washington, d.c.. and on-line at c-spanradio.org. >> frank newport is the editor in chief of gallup polls. he joined us. host: frank newport is editor- in-chief at a gallop. thank you for being with us. in new poll looked at how active the katharina should be in
americans' lives. why did you decide to -- how active should the government be in americans' lives? why did you decide to look at this? guest: we spent a lot of time debating what the role of the amican beverage to be. it goes back to the depression and the role that fdr created. a lot of candidates, to give away the tea party movement and others, on of the main words you will your come outf their mouth is a "less government," and there has always been a lot of research done on it. we looked at new polling and decided, really, if we could get a 330 million americans in one room, what would they tell us in washington about what they think the appropriate role should be?
host: let's look up the trust americans have for those holding office or running for office. guest: that is one of a number of questions that you can trend and ask an american cit we put the government here in washington to do our bidding. that is the american people's bidding. e in washington to do the american people's bidding and is controlled oil to the by the democratic system, but there -- controlled by the democratic system, but there are a number of men and women whose they have very little confidence in the system. host: what did you find as far as the general? of how a involved over rt should be? -- the general question of how involved the government should be?
guest: we had a five. scale -- we had a five point scale, and at one end is the government should be very active and do everything it can to solve problems. the other end was that it should be out ofur positions as much as a prop -- possible. calo and behold, we had a a curve -- a low and behold, we have a curved. we had one-third on each end and a little more than a third sitting right in the middle. the data is not as simple as you think you can make it. there is a spectrum of opinion out there in the american public, as is often the case. host: uber could down by republicans, independents and democrats got -- and you broke it down by republicans, independents, democrats as well.
guest: athose data are not shoc. those republicans clearly go to the other end of the spectrum. terms of -- a good thing to solve problems, and republicans go to the other en of the respect from -- of the spectrum. but we did find a lot of differences of there. you have some very strong peoe that say as small as possible on everything, and some that would say the opposite. but a lot of people are in different combinations in the middle. host: and it has changed over the last decade or two how much?
guest: right now, republicans are saying we do not like big government. " we do not trust big government. demoats are saying that it is good. you can go back as recently as 2006 or 2003 and the data was flipped. democrats in response to the same questions have a negative opinion of government and republicans were saying we trust government. and of course, the reasons were, that was the bush administration and one of the key issues was thear on terror and the patriot act and the war in iraq. democrats had worried that it had overstepped its bounds and was getting to begin those arenas. now it has slipped and republicans are too worried the government has overstepped its bounds primarily and -- in domestic attendance with the obama administration. -- with the domestic attempts
with the obama administration. host: but go to tony on the independent line. -- let's go to tony on the independent line. caller: as a republican, it is evident by our budget situation the government has been, whether it is democrat or republican administration, government has way overstepped its bounds. unfortunately, government does not know how to stop spending money. politicians continually grant themselves raises and spend money we do not have. i thinkt has become evident to pretty much most american people now that the government has way overstepped its bounds. we can no longer afford all of the programs out there. host: is what tony is saying squaring with your research? guest: somewhat. a lot of people's image of government is negative. in fact, 70% said when we said,
en you think government, what comes to mind, 70% had a negative reaction. they're perceived honesty and ethics are just slightly -- their perceived honesty and ethics are dyslalia but used-car salesman. been terms -- or just slightly above the used car salesman. but in terms of what programs to pull back, that is where it gets complex. host: let's go to don on e republican line. caller: it is somewhere in the middle.
if we keep talking about the government, which is of and for and by the people, if we look at the saving habits and the investing habits of the average joe and jane in society, we are living well above our mns as a society. it kind of goes hand in hand to me. i think if we turn our citizens back to being producers slashed consumers as opposed to -- back to being a producer/consumers as opposed to just being consumers, i think we need to focus on continued division in society and schools. guest: those are good sentiments. yes, if we can produce more and do better with education, i think everybody would be happy.
i do agree with his prior comment, which is, that it is complicated. i have used my waking hours to study the american people and he is right, it is not absolutely hot or cold. there is a role for the federal government doing certain things, but obviously, a lot of people worry that it has gotten too big. host: when you look at things by topic, interesting results. health care, reducing income differences, protecting at risk corporations -- asking people where the government should step in and where their role should be. the 83% responded that national security is important. only 2% said no response will be. health care, 40% said
responsibility and 20% said no responsibility. guest: there are some things that we can agree on, and most would agree that protecting the country is one of them. at the bottom of the list is trying to bail out corporations. if you cut -- a few americans of that was an appropriate role. and clearly, there were a number of issues that we waited and we had over half of americans saying that the government -- that governmentwghted and we had over half of americans and saying that there are some
things for the government to do, like protecting the environment. however, lesthan half were involved in trying to recover income differences. the average american, at least when you put them together, is more likely to say that may not be the government's role is to try to address that issue. host: 20% of americans polled said that the government should have total responsibility of producing income differences. a 33% said no responsibility at all. guest: that is right, there is a spectrum. the government is a dangerous instrument, is what comes out o here when i look back at it. if these men and women in the senate, and in the executive
branch, of course, they should use these powers cautiously. thats what i read from the american public. host: but go to james, good morning. caller: i would just like to say that the people that watch fox news every day, they are brainwashed. no wonder the country is in the condition is in. the big corporatis control the money that is going into fox news and the republican party and until this is stopped in some way, this country is on a downward run. host: has galop looked at where americans are getting their information -- has gallup looked at where americans are getting their information?
guest: yes, we have. and you can look at nielsen ratings. i do not think the caller was recommending that you caot have internet sites a so forth. that is free speech. but it today we find that we have more people that a sickout news and information tt is confirmatory to their own beliefs. others that have -- ere are others that have a limited appeal cuba more liberal -- to the more beral spectrum. maybe, the speculation goes, the hypothesis goes, that increases the partisan divide that we are seeing in a lot of these issues in america today. host: one ofur folks on footer
rights -- -- on twitter rightwrs -- guest: i like that. a poet. that, to some degree, fits in with what the average person across america would say. the is a role for vernon. the government has things it should do, but -- there is a role for government. the government has things it shou do, but be very careful. host: but go to the next caller, how low, stephanie. caller: how you know that 50% of the people you are pulling our democrat -- your polling r. democrat? how many people identify themselves as democrats versus
republicans? and is it strictly [unintelligible] guest: what was her last point? host: i missed that. guest: we spend a lot of time making sure that what we do is scientifically representing the overall american population. our goal is, of course, when we do a survey to make sure that people are equally represented. generally, we will have the same number of republicans and independents and democrats in our sample that we would find when we interview of some 200 million adults in this country. i think we do a pretty good job using a lot of random scientific principles that when we put it together is pretty we askedative of whaif everybody in the country. and just like when your doctor takes a small blood sample to
represent all the blood in your body to count your cholesterol level. host: you take their word for it whether they are democrats or republican or independent? or do you manage it and within their voter rolls? and -- and you match it with their four roles? guest: a lot of jurisdictions will allow you to have debate do not include phone numbers in them. and a lot of people have telephones. it is complex. what we do generally as ask people. we say, as of today in politics, are you republican, democrat or independent? we do not ask if you are .egistered as host: larry, you are on in newport. caller: we got a call yesterday
from your organization. i did not take the call, but we got a call at the house. let me just remind some of my fellow citizens that col. i'm almost 70 years old, so i've seen quite a of government in my time. the first time i voted was for kennedy. i do not know, but it seems the constitution was to protect the citizens fro the government, not to empower the government to do anything it wants to its citizens. we all know that entitlements are out of contr and we have to rein them in somehow, yet we passed one of the largest entitlent in history in the obama care bill. nancy pelosi says
you have to read the bill, that speaks to the competency of the elected officials. host: we will leave that there. guest: i'm glad that somebody took a poll, and it is very coincidental. we called thousands of people a day. i'm but he got a call and that he cooperated. -- i'm glad that he got a call and that he cooperated. a lot ofeople would share their opinion, but certainly not all. he was fairly negative about the men and women that sit on capitol hill with us and i think a lot of people would share that opinion. host: here is a tweet -- he says it is an inside job. we are getting a a lot of poets on tweet.
guest: they have more time to consider. there are those who would say that they want more -- less government and there are those things like when we got out of control and wall street and there were serious consequences. that is kind of the yen and yen. yin and yang.d ye there is a lot of sentiment out there that controlling wall street is a legitimate role for government. host: the next call is kato. caller: if people are represent -- are elected to be representing the public in the
government, that is democracy. what you have to do there is the situation has become that you elect the people that represent you. you have to put the of trust in the government with -- let's say, health care, transportation, if you lose faith in the government, then the whole thing is crumbling. if you lose everything out of its place, if you are democrat or republican or independent in america, the question is, what is the government going to do for my child? host: he brings up a good point. if americans are discoented of with officials, what does the
due to the elections? we are the ones to put them into office in the first place. guest: he is right, when is the nature of democracy. not all 300 million of us can show up and vote on every issue. we have to elect men and women to represent us. there's a lot of dispute about what they should do when they get here. some say that they should be a trustee of -- trustees. which means, once they get here .com they should do what is right and forget the people back home. there are others that -- once they get here, they should do what is right and forget the people back home. there are other side say they are delegates. americans trust themselves to make judgmts me than they do the one men and women that they sendoff to represent them. one thing i can they could do
more of is more scientific ways of looking at public opinion. the point is, they should spend more time looking atoll -- looking at what the american people are saying. there's a lot of disconnect. jane and john doe out there in the country are not sure how good a job they're doing. people do not think the system right now is working that well. host: thank you, and a butcher in chief from dela. -- editor and chief from gallup. he also did some time in the radio business. you with the news director of a
talk-show down in houston. we have a comment from mary on twitter. she does not necessarily think that these polls connect with people like her. how do you think of the way cell phones are changing the way people are communicating? guest: we have looked at that. in fact, we have people asking if we have looked at the fact that people are using cell phones. well, ofourse we do. a big number of our sessions are complex papers about how to deal with cell phones and sampling. we just had a task force that put out a huge amount of data. the bottom line is that we do call cell phones. we house's january 1, 2008.
-- we have since january 1, 2008. host: pennsylvania, where frank is on and our republican line. caller: good morning. i'd like to make a couple of statements. i think congress is scapegoating by the lobbyists. there are no congressmen that are responsible. they will even tell you they do not want the government to do this. they have insurance companies -- ani just got my new bill, which are killing the economy. the american industry cannot pay that insurance. they will have to get o the back of the industrialists. otherwise, we have no jobs. i have "business week" magazine. a reted insurance executive, the to observe million dollars
golden parachute. -- a $200 million golden parachute. for the last five years he is not even in the top 20. why does the government allow no bid contract to destroy industry? guest: i'm not sure exactly the technical details of what the caller, frank, is, talking 11 about. but he is representing a popular sentiment. i think he was saying that lobbyists have too much influence and he was complaining that insurance people are making too much money. interestingly, i don't hear him saying that the government should be responsible for reducing the income differences between people.
guest: on the latter, it depends on the era. if you look at our polls, what is the most important in facing the country? in 2003 through 2005 you would find foreign entanglements, particularlyn afghanistan and iraq. if you look at the gallup poll from the late '60s,'s and early 70's, y would find the vietnam. there are times that we look fdoat foreign and domestic even. if you look around the world and very important things going on,
the average american is usually domestically focused. about two-thirds of the two- party movement say they do not have a person they're voting for, but they are highly vocal. host: mets go to another call. -- let's go to another call. caller: i would like to know if there was a poll that you guys take that could show how wonderful the republicans are at making people -- well, not making people, but having people voted against their own interest. i look at things and i see how things -- and democrats, too, in certn races.
i do not think it is a democrat or republican problem anymore. i think it is a simple matter of common sense and a values that everybody shares. guest: well, those are good sentiments. we asked americans recently just before a big summit here in washington about what we should do with the federal government. we just asked a simp question -- what is the one thing you would do to fix the federal government? we got a lot of responses and many of them echoed over what we just heard. witches, " pickering, -- which is, quit bickering. a lot of what i heard is that congress and the senate need to work together a lot more and quit fightg. faldo, -- although, many people
would say out of the sausage making comes to some good sausage. host: you he a sense of how that is, manifesting americans outside of the two-party system? or does that make you look at the tea party? guest: a fairly substantl number of americans will say, yes, there is room for a third party. it is easy to say because a lot of americans will say, sure, why not? whether or not there can be an absolute third party that has a real impact on american politics, we'll wait and see. ross perot had a lot of money and pushed his popular vote of 219% in 1992. that is as much as we have seen. -- up to 19% in 1992. that is as much as we have seen.
then you have to go back to george wallace. many americans will say it is a good idea, but i do not know how viable it is. host: richard, on the republican line. caller: i have a question for you. isn't the president of the united states supposed to represent the whole nation? this guy is running around the country campaigning and raising money for the democrats. how about the republicans of? he is not representing the republicans at all guest: that is a good question. and of course, obama is not the first. george bush was campaigning while in the white house for public in candidates. if you go back, richard nixon as well. it is a time-honored tradition. who is not paid for by the federal government.
the are private funds raised for those campaigns. and president obama is certainly out a lot now campaigning for democratic candidates and makes no bones about it. whether or not it is excessive will have to wait for people to comment. host: and what about the president's role in the voters' choices? guest: is a good question and, in fact, we will know about that today because we just as that over the weekend. obama still has a fairly high approval rating. he is in the mid 40's which is was and whereeagan wer clinton was in their second year. he still enjoys high approval, 70% +, sometimes 80% or more, among democrats.
guest: luis in fredericksburg, va. on the republican line. hi there. host: everybody keeps saying that - caller: everybody keeps saying that people are electing these representatives, but in fact, the system is rigged. i remember when i lived in washington state and there was mcdermott in seattle and everybody commented that he was a congressman for life because nobody could run against him. i think we need to have term limits and we need to elect people with intelligence. but we do not need moms in tennis shoes if they are just stepping straight out of the household and have no broader knowledge -- or no critical thinking skills, i should say. and there are people in congress
that learn on the job after 40 years and the only thing they learn is how to manipulate the system to benefit the friends -- their friends or a foreign country that they have interest in. i think we need people who truly are friends of america and represent america. guest: everybody running for office would say to the caller that they care about america. america is just a question and that we think -- that is, the voters think we need to do. there are some who think it is great to put people in congress that are not professional politicians. in fact, that is where a lot of pele are trying to oust the career politicians. their arguments either way.
you do need -- and there are arguments either way. you do need experience. but every district is different. some candidates are intelligent, and some are not. host: frank newport, editor in chief at gallup, which recently looked at whether the federal burman should be more active or less active in the lives of the american public. let's go to another caller. caller: i have a couple of comments. i do not have a problem with the stimulus package that was passed. most people have been there for 1 k invested in wall street. -- most people have their 401k invested in wall street.
i think it was good, because otherwise they would lose a lot of money. i think republicans are causing a lot of fighting and i think we do not have a lot of jobs because the companies are waiting for republicans to be, back in office. est: those are some interesting sentiments. i do not know if companies are waiting for republicans to be back in office, but clearly, there are a lot of things affecting whether they're hiring. flint, mich., to al on the independent line. caller: i have a questioand a common. the question is, did you and your group have barack obama
winning the election? i do not think so. ,he point i'm trying to make is the average joe blow is going between job to job while you ys are out poling. guest: that is an interesting point. the answer to the first one is, yes, we showed barack obama winning by the margin -- the close margin that he got. in fact, so far this year, if you look at the polls prior to the primaries, generally speaking-ups -- they have been fairly accurate as well. the polling actually does work. then he was saying that we are out your polling while they are out there trying to find jobs. i would argue that it is important to represent the average american. one thing we do is we are
allowing the average american boys to be heard and be part of the discourse in a way that -- the american voice to be heard and part of the discourse in a way that it would not be otherwise. we have to do something like public opinion to try to empower people so that they have a voice at the table. everyone else as rep. -- everyone else is represented. we try to represent average citizens so that their opinions are part of the public discourse. host: it is a loaded question, but is there ever a time that bling interferes with the process? guest: that is an interesting philosophical question. some people ask if there is too much poland. polling.- too much
president bush said, i do not pay attention to polls. i do what is right guess what happened? now we have another president in the office who says the same thing. everybody wants to prend that they do not pay attention. the average americans who pooled together across this country have a lot of wisdom. i think >> c-span, bringing in politics and public affairs. every morning, is "washington journal." on weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house of representatives. weck nights, it is policy hearings.
, " the communicators on saturday nights. also, of the popular prime ministers questions from the british house of commons. through november, six coverage of campaign 2010 as the political parties belfort the control of congress. -- as the political parties battled for the controlled congress. c-span, greeted by cable provided as a public-service. >> before his death this year, a west virginia senator served for 30 years. tonight, the candidates who hope to fill his space will debate. every night, leading up until the elections, we will bring you belittle the bates from around the country. -- bring new political debates from around the country. from around the country.